Welcoming new growth: Can the Triangle's current infrastructure handle Apple?

WAKE COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- Depending on who you ask, the short answer might be 'not yet.'

With Apple's recent announcement of some 3,000 jobs to Research Triangle Park, it begs the question if the Triangle's infrastructure can keep up with the current and projected growth.

"I welcome the new growth," said Brier Creek resident Michael Gamble. "But of course being in North Carolina for a while, I am a little nostalgic. And I want to keep it small. But as time progresses, we have to be prepared for that change and I think this is the change we need. I think this area is going to turn into Charlotte almost."

Apple unveils $1B investment to build east coast hub in Research Triangle, create at least 3,000 jobs

In October 2020, the NCDOT announced the delay of several major projects that would have a considerable impact on those commuting to RTP and who live in the surrounding areas.

A spokesperson for the agency told ABC11 that the agency was aware of Apple's move and was involved in several discussions about how best the area could support future growth. Additionally, and with respect to the pandemic, the NCDOT is still in the process of re-evaluating commuting patterns. Agency leaders have indicated commute and arrival times to work have been staggered in the morning hours.

EMBED More News Videos

NC State economist Michael Walden says North Carolina will be the future for the economy in the country.

However, in the evening traffic patterns are consistent.

Apple news could have effect on housing market: If you want to buy or sell a home, Triangle Realtor says 'do it now'

EMBED More News Videos

If you want to buy or sell a home, Triangle Realtor says "do it now."

Inasmuch, the agency has not committed to building anything yet specifically in response to Apple's future arrival.

"Some projects were pushed back 2-3-4 years," said an NCDOT spokesperson.

A few of the 'major' projects include:

  • US-70 from TW Alexander to 540 (pushed back from FY 2022 to FY 2025)
  • NC-147 widening from East End Connector to I-40 (pushed back from FY 2024 to FY 2028)
  • I-40/I-440 interchange and lane addition to Lake Wheeler Road (pushed back from FY 2024 to FY 2026)
  • US-64 improvements in Apex and Cary (pushed back from FY 2025 to FY 2029)

The above projects one among the 'several hundred' delayed across the state.
Copyright © 2021 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.